Moray Eels: The Most Cosmopolitan of Reef Fish, but Why?
April 12, 2010
Joshua Reece became interested in moray eels in 2005 when he was applying to the PhD program at the University of Hawai'i. Instead of taking him on a campus tour, his host, Brian Bowen, PhD, a biologist at the university, took him on a dive. Along the southwest coast of Oahu, Reece looked under a rock ledge and was startled to see five different species of moray eels looking back. When he later captured the eels, he found the same fish species in all of their bellies.
Reece immediately recognized the five eels as a dissertation project on a platter. "How can you have seven species of the same fish eating the same thing and, quite literally, living under the same rock?" he asks. "Species don't do that; if they exploit the same niche they don't diversify, and if they diversify they don't exploit the same niche."
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